Physicists Zhan-Feng Mai and Run-Qiu Yang from Tianjin University in China have proposed a theoretical concept suggesting that tiny black holes, known as primordial black holes, could be utilized as a source of power. These ultradense objects, if they exist, could potentially function as rechargeable batteries and nuclear reactors, providing energy on the scale of gigaelectronvolts.
Primordial black holes are distinct from stellar-mass black holes and are believed to have formed from overdensities in the primordial plasma that filled the Universe after the Big Bang. The researchers suggest that these black holes could be as small as subatomic sizes.
The idea is not to extract energy from within the black hole but from the intense gravitational forces just outside it, representing the strongest known concentrations of gravity in the Universe. The researchers propose using a Schwarzschild black hole as a rechargeable battery.
One significant challenge with very small black holes is Hawking radiation, the mass loss due to the interaction between the black hole’s event horizon and quantum fields in its vicinity. The researchers argue that they could replenish and recharge a primordial black hole above a certain mass to produce electrical energy. According to their calculations, a black hole with a mass between 10^15 and 10^18 kilograms could convert up to 25 percent of the input mass to energy, rivaling the efficiency of nuclear reactors and surpassing many commercially available solar panels.
While the practical feasibility of harnessing energy from tiny black holes is currently beyond our technological capabilities, the theoretical analysis offers intriguing possibilities for future exploration and consideration. The research is set to be published in Physical Review D.